A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster's classic guide—a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes, and contexts—that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and. have made a down payment on a house in an all-white neighborhood. . these glasses, you will read and understand literature in a new light, and it'll become. How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines eBook: Thomas C. Foster: lyubimov.info: Kindle Store. includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet .. Download.
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lyubimov.info - Buy How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App. How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised. A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines. by Thomas C. Foster. ebook. Editorial Reviews. From the Back Cover. The New York Times bestseller is now available for $ eBook features: Read with the free Kindle apps ( available on iOS, Android, PC & Mac), Kindle E-readers and on Fire Tablet .. Download.
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With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster's classic guide—a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes, and contexts—that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable.
While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at literature with the eyes—and the literary codes—of the ultimate professional reader: What does it mean when a literary hero travels along a dusty road? The English Novel: An Introduction. See all Product description.
Product details Format: Kindle Edition File Size: Harper Perennial; Revised ed. English ASIN: Enabled X-Ray: Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Paperback Verified Purchase. Awesome book. One person found this helpful. I was apprehensive before buying this book. I did not want to study literature like a literary critic.
I couldn't care less about any of the multitudes of literary theories. I just want to enjoy literature. My staple in fiction is classics and literary fiction.
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I always felt something missing when reading them. I wanted to know why Lawrence is considered a master of literary symbolism, why Hemingway and Fitzgerald have earned their stellar reputation.
I did a little research on what to read to understand literature better and this book came to my notice. In many of the reviews, it was stated that even teachers in schools are basing their whole classes on this book. So, I finally bought it. I'm extremely glad I did.
This book has none of the literary theory that is staple of all undergraduate and post-graduate courses in literature in any language. The author explains in very simple and enjoyable language how hidden meanings, subtexts and allegories are hidden in most literary fiction. Author explains how to spot allegories of Jesus Christ, what weather, disease, getting drenched, sex, absence of sex, seasons, heroes and many more symbols mean. I had read Old Man and the Sea many years back. He has it all down.
I only admired one line in the whole book: View all 14 comments. This book is a non-fiction guide by a professor at the University of Michigan-Flint on how to approach literary reading with a goal of better understanding. It is primarily focused on literature loosely defined as works related to the human condition or what it means to be human from the mid-twentieth century and prior.
Foster provides insight to help the reader recognize memory, symbol, and pattern, citing examples from notable works. He also admits that we can never know for sure what the author intended.
Examples of topics include common themes, archetypes, metaphors, allegory, irony and more. A few specific content areas are examined in depth with supporting cases to show how to delve into the deeper meaning being conveyed, such as violence, sex, seasonality, weather, geography, markings, journeys, meals, and diseases. The author covers the widespread influences of Shakespeare, The Bible, fables, and Greek mythology. With a few exceptions, examples are derived primarily from British and American literature.
Spoilers for these works are included to make his points. Near the end, a short story written by Karen Mansfield is included, and the reader is invited to practice interpretation of the text using the principles previously provided.
This book is written with humor, wit, and self-deprecation. The author does not claim to have all the answers and encourages readers to draw upon their own experiences. If a perspective is supportable in the work, it is valid. I appreciated the inclusion of a suggested reading list at the end. Recommended to people who enjoy analyzing what they read, students that need to read literature for classes, and life-long learners.
Memorable Quote: Dec 27, Thomas rated it really liked it Shelves: Okay, not really. But more things than not, at least when it comes to literature. I was hesitant to read How to Read Literature Like a Professor because I felt that I had not read enough classics to understand what Thomas Foster would be talking about - but then I realized that maybe it was a good idea to read the book before embarking on my literature quest, so I would have some background knowledge heading in.
After all, knowledge is power. And I was right. Though a myriad of the book titles went over my head and some of the examples were consequently confusing, for the most part I feel like I've learned a lot from reading this book.
Granted, I'm a high school student, so I didn't know much to begin with, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves English, literature, or is interested in reading a book about books. As a bibliophile and self-proclaimed future English major, I loved learning about irony, allusions, and everything else Foster shared using his casual yet sophisticated writing style.
Not a bad book to start out with. Now to move on to an actual novel View all 4 comments. Mar 01, Leo Walsh rated it really liked it.
MOOC's grade via peer evaluations of your work. It is in the text, which made sense, since Carroll was a clergy member telling a coming of age story. And having taken university level upper-division lit courses, I knew the paper was well thought-out, supported by the text and About a year ago, I took a MOOC a Massively Open Online Course on the site Coursera on fantasy literature.
And having taken university level upper-division lit courses, I knew the paper was well thought-out, supported by the text and creative. Solid A-, maybe an A. I got a B- from a peer, with a comment not exact, but close -- "Clear writing, but I don't like this sort of literary criticism. It's the same BS my high school English teacher tried to teach.
Nor did they offer a different interpretation of the Eden story. Instead, I did a classic bit of literary analysis and was graded by a person either ignorant of or hostile to classical literary analysis.
And, despite the professor's video lectures, which employed the same classical literary analytical techniques I did, the student objected to the enterprise of literary critique. I was flummoxed. It seemed an odd statement and a petty reason for an average grade in a literature class, but it goes to the point that Thomas C. Which is that reading closely and writing about literature thoughtfully is an art.
It takes experience, and intention. What's more, it often takes a classical education that few have these days. Since literary authors often steal from Greek myths, the bible, fairy tales, Shakespeare This was a refresher for me, and I enjoyed it. Foster's style is informal and chatty, and while this can come across as patronizing, it made for easy reading. What's more, it reinforced the knowledge that I thought maybe was no longer taught in high school and college. At least as evinced by the comment I received from an anonymous person on my Through the Looking Glass analysis.
Foster breezes through a ton of material here. From myth to baptism to biblical references. He also presents a cheeky, but honest answer to his students when they ask "is this a symbol? But Foster uses two central ideas that bind the book together.
The first is the idea of intertextuality, that every author is in conversation with writers in the past. Since I was first introduced to this idea in high school, it has continued to fascinate me. The second idea is mind-blowing, if maybe a little over-the-top for me: Not sure if that's true, and it seems like cock and bull on one hand, but it's also intriguing. Just kidding. I'm giving it four-stars since it feels like the discussions that go on in undergrad lit classes.
And because of that, it is important because it introduces readers to "why" literature professors often take such left-field interpretations on the books they cover in class. View all 19 comments. Oct 02, Abhimanu rated it really liked it. Worth a read. Also the reading list at the end is legit. Jul 25, Deb Readerbuzz Nance rated it it was amazing Shelves: Now that I've read this book, you may as well not bother trying to read my book reviews; yes, that's right, I will now be examining themes and motifs and character motivation and other things like that and I'll probably be writing such amazing stuff that no one else will be able to understand me.
Like a professor, right? No, my days of "Uh, I liked it" or "Well, I don't know" are over; I'll be finding things like water imagery and mother archetypes and references to obscure lines fro Now that I've read this book, you may as well not bother trying to read my book reviews; yes, that's right, I will now be examining themes and motifs and character motivation and other things like that and I'll probably be writing such amazing stuff that no one else will be able to understand me.
No, my days of "Uh, I liked it" or "Well, I don't know" are over; I'll be finding things like water imagery and mother archetypes and references to obscure lines from Ulysses.
So if you want to try to understand even a glimmer of what I'm writing about, you may need to read this book, too. Jan 16, K rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Recommended to K by: I loved this. Don't get me wrong. It's not one of those books you could, or would want to, read in one sitting.
It's really more of a reference book, though an enjoyable one, written in a light and breezy style. I'm not sure someone who wasn't already interested in reading literature on multiple levels would be particularly interested. But if you do have an interest to read literature in a more sophisticated, insightful way as I imagine many goodreaders do , you may enjoy this book as much as I I loved this. But if you do have an interest to read literature in a more sophisticated, insightful way as I imagine many goodreaders do , you may enjoy this book as much as I did.
You'll never look at weather, heart disease, blindness, geography, or fiction altogether the same way again. Sep 11, Wiebke 1book1review rated it really liked it Shelves: I finally finished this. It was waiting a long time for me to pick it up, and it was by no means related to the book not being good.
I got this as a refresher mainly, since I left uni 10 years ago and sometimes a little reminder is nice. And I got exactly what I wanted in an easy to read and follow way.
I think this book can function as an introduction to literary analysis as well as a fresh up. There are many examples given and everything is explained in everyday language, without complicated term I finally finished this. There are many examples given and everything is explained in everyday language, without complicated terms.
The only thing I should warn about is that it contains a lot of spoilers for literary works. I had read a fair amount of the books but not all of them. So if that is a problem for you, check out the appendix where there is a list of works he used. View 1 comment. Nov 01, Stephanie "Jedigal" rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Literature fans wanting to go more in-depth.
Ever wonder what it means when a character steps in a puddle? Why an author suddenly goes into great detail about some otherwise unimportant event?
Well, why didn't you? If you read this book, you will. An avid reader of both pulp and literature, in roughly equal measure who never took a college literature class, I've always known I was not getting all I could from my reading.
After reading this book, I know I am much better equipped. Just finished my second read of Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go" Ever wonder what it means when a character steps in a puddle? Just finished my second read of Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go", and was amazed at how much deeper I could see into it now. Thank you, T. This book serves as a great introduction to some common symbolism to watch out for when reading good lit. It also introduces the reader to the phenomenon of "intertextuality" - where an author presents something in such a way that it raises echoes of a separate text in your mind.
The author presents many examples. A good minority of them were familiar too me, and the rest, rather than being annoying, were enough to make me salivate in the contemplation of checking out these texts for myself. The style is conversational, and the auther, an English lit professor after all, admits to his foibles and pretensions in such a likeable and approachable way that the pages fly by.
How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised
After applying what I've learned a little, I'll definitely be re-reading this text to absorb even more, and widen my horizons even further. Oct 16, Antigone rated it it was ok Shelves: If you read more than five books a year, you've already learned what Professor Foster has to teach. And if you're like me, about halfway through you'll start asking yourself: Who wants to read literature like a professor? Why would anyone want to read literature like a professor? Isn't that a bit akin to learning how to have sex like the local prostitute?
Coroners with our questions about Death?
How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
If you plan on dating, living with or marrying an English Lit professor, this book would be a fine primer on what he does with his day.
If you plan on being graded by an English Lit professor, this book would be a fine overview of her critical standard. Barring these two eventualities? Read like yourself. Mar 04, Terri Lynn rated it did not like it Shelves: This is a very friendly book and I suspect the author is one of those feel-good professors who attract a lot of students to his classes because they are what is known as "easy A" classes.
Sort of like an academic finger-painting class. He presumes that you an idiot and rather stupid. He's still chummy with you while thinking that and gives you plenty of pats on the head little boys and girls but this was supposed to be for college students. I went to an excellent elementary school in the 's This is a very friendly book and I suspect the author is one of those feel-good professors who attract a lot of students to his classes because they are what is known as "easy A" classes.
I went to an excellent elementary school in the 's and we learned all of this there. The bottom line is that this book will NOT teach you to read literature like a professor.
A professor has a PhD and this is very elementary. If you hope to read literature like a 5th grader, this is for you. Otherwise, I'd pass if you are serious about literature. View all 9 comments. Jul 10, David rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Unemployed English majors, Employed non-English majors. Sometimes I wish I had been an English major.
There are times when I think reading for a living and analyzing books and being well-read would have been the ideal life for me.
Then I remember that being unemployed sucks. So I'm usually fairly happy with my life choices, but I do at times feel like I am not well-read enough. I spent most of my adolescence and early adulthood reading almost nothing but sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.
I have been extremely dedicated to reading more in the past few year Sometimes I wish I had been an English major. I have been extremely dedicated to reading more in the past few years, and have added many classics and literary works to my reading diet, though I'm still working my way through a lot of those "Really Important Books Everyone Should Read" lists and not expecting to get close to the end of them in my lifetime.
So anyway, I would also like to be more informed as I read some of those Great Works.
I'm pretty smart and well educated so I usually catch historical context and allusions and references to other works, but there is much depth in the best works that probably goes over my head. How to Read Literature Like a Professor is primarily a book about symbolism and finding it in books. Thomas Foster is duh a college professor, and he's trying to distill a lot of what he teaches in his entry-level undergraduate classes into an accessible book for the average reader.
Thus, his chatty, jokey style is aimed at the reader who might be a little intimidated at the idea of being challenged by Serious Literature. Personally, I wanted a serious approach and could have stood a little more depth and less hand-holding, but when he gets down to the subject matter, Foster talks knowledgeably and reassuringly to an audience that wants to be culturally literate but suspects they might not be, which I guess includes me.
What he does is go through a list of symbols and what they mean and how many, many authors throughout history have used them, and how to spot them as you are reading. This is not a deliberate bias on Foster's part and it doesn't mean all the authors who use these symbols are necessarily upholding Greek and Biblical mythology as superior to all others, just that if you are writing in the Western tradition, you cannot escape them. So Foster talks about how every meal is a communion and how to recognize a Christ figure in literature.
If he were doing more of a comparative literature study, he might have pointed out how the Jesus story itself was just a recycling of older myths He also discusses vampires, roads, quests, sex, weather, death, fairy tales, irony, and Shakespeare, among many other recognizable images and symbols to look for. His topics are by his own admission arbitrary and incomplete. Basically this book is a tutorial, and he ends it with a short story by Katherine Mansfield which he asks the reader to analyze, using all the tools he introduced earlier.
Then he presents the results from a few of his students and his own analysis. Interestingly, they all hit some of the same themes but no one's analysis is the same and some come up with very different interpretations, which is the point: It's a fun activity, and one I will probably find myself doing unconsciously as I read in the future.
So did this book make me more culturally literate or a more perceptive reader? I enjoyed it, though I could have wished for a little more depth. If you want some heavier reading that drills down more into a long list of books and what they mean without the overtly lit-crit approach , I might recommend Jane Smiley's Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel.
But I think I'm still glad I didn't major in English after all. I didn't finish this book but I read enough and spent enough time on it to count it as read in my opinion.
If I spend over 4 hours reading something, I think I have a good idea what it is like. I can summarize this entire book in one sentence: Know the Bible, know Greek myths, read Homer, and read Shakespeare, then understand common sense and you will figure out what the symbols of things stand for in literature.
I thought this was going to give me some new information but it was things I learned I didn't finish this book but I read enough and spent enough time on it to count it as read in my opinion. I thought this was going to give me some new information but it was things I learned in high school or it is so obvious.
The main thing this book did for me was spoil a bunch of classic literature. Oct 18, Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: All readers who want more understanding. Feeling like I needed to discover more insight and depth to my reading, I mentioned that fact to Goodreads friend Will Byrnes who suggested this book. By the way, Will's reviews are very, very thoughful, popular and readable. So I'm glad he did recommend it because it was such a great and painless way for me to understand the underlying thoughts and references of books I read.
Broken into short chapters, it covers all areas that I could possibly think of although author and Professor Thomas C. Foster stated at the end the chapter titled Envoi; definition: Foster is a professor of English at the University Michigan at Flint, and teaches classic and contemporary fiction, drama, poetry creative writing and composition.
With such credentials he certainly knows this subject and I can attest to that. Some chapter titles: Professor Foster appears to be a lighthearted individual and I would have loved to have been in one of his classes. Prior to beginning the book I glanced at a number of reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and noticed more than one person say Professor Foster was condescending to the reader.
I totally disagree with that opinion. Perhaps the reviewer attended many more English lit classes than I did and if so, perhaps they should have been reading something much more sophisticated, something more at their reading level, not the average reader, which I consider myself.
Come to find out, this is required reading in our local high schools. Wish I would have read this book years ago since my major was communications with poli-sci minor.
Communications as a major covers writing for the masses, advertising, and well, you get the picture. And as we know, newspaper writing was and maybe still is, at the 8th grade level.
Not many challenges at that level. A few, very few observations from the book that I took away: I particularly love the last observation from Professor Foster, always about self-knowledge. I have read some reviewers on other books criticize a book because they had to 'stop at the phone booth to make call' or the book was degrading to women or saying the book was 'dated.
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